Sunday, December 28, 2008

Getting A Resume Writer To Write Your Resumes

In the midst of hundreds of resumes that any recruiter or employer receive for any given position, your resume needs to stand out from that crowd.

In other words, you must make the Recruitment Manager want to read your resume more thoroughly than just the rudimentary 10-20 seconds the vast majority of your competition will warrant.

The only way to achieve this is by designing an "accomplishment driven resume".

Now what makes a resume that focuses on achievements, so effective?

It can be said that most job seekers tend to list their responsibilities of their past and current positions without highlighting on their achievements. Although responsibilities are an important factor, the crux should be on achievements. If you are seeking a high-level position, it becomes even more necessary

In other words, you have to show proof of those results that you were able to achieve and that you would be able to repeat it should the future employer hire you.

Presentations and fancy dressed up resumes are just not enough. Of course, there are instances there when the odd one that has been selected just because of the fanciness, but these are only rare cases.

You must be in a position to describe how you have increased the company’s bottom line or managed any projects that lead to increase revenue and company savings. Of course then there is the case when you are able to show how you have restructured the organization, leading to increased employee morale and company profitability. Now the interviewer or resume reviewer must get the picture that you are capable to repeat these performances.

This is the kind of information that managers seek out amongst the clutter of resumes that they receive.

Another important aspect for an "accomplishment driven resume" is the resume format itself. Try not to mix your achievements and responsibilities together. In other words, you can write an overview of your responsibilities in a paragraph and then highlight your accomplishments with bullet points.

Basically, if everything looks the same, nothing will stand out.

By applying the above points, your potential employers would not only be able to see what you have achieved in the past, but what you could offer to them in the future as well.

Now that the achievement issue has been discussed, let’s get to the next step.

If you have been sending out your resume and not getting interviews, you can certainly blame your resume.

Without a good resume, companies virtually have no idea that you even exist - unless you are invited to an interview by the hiring authority, you may as well be invisible.

We live in a market economy and you must learn to market yourself effectively and aggressively or suffer in a 'go nowhere' job while your friends move on to new opportunities and brighter futures.

As a matter of fact, the primary job of your resume is to only open doors !

Now the question arises, whether you should write the resume yourself or hire a "professional resume writer".

There are chances that if you do the writing, that key elements could be missing and a jobseeker generally doesn't discover this until a good portion of time has been poured into the job search.

For example a job-search campaign can stretch out for weeks or months.

Let's look at some numbers that will determine whether a resume writing service is worth the investment.

First, the salary you are seeking, say $36,000.

Now, let's divide that number by 2,080 (based upon 8 hours per day, multiplied by 5 days and further multiplied by 52 weeks) and you will come up with $17.31 per hour (gross).

Every day, you will lose just over $138.45, and for every week, $692.30.

Let us say your job search takes 6 months, you will lose an estimated $18,000.

Compare these with the costs that you might have to shell out for hiring a “professional resume writer” and you will see that their charges come to only about (2) days of your expected salary.

Of course, there are the ones (like poor me!!) that you could get cheap, but then that requires a lot of research. Whenever, you do a research, you must remember to pay yourself as well.

Another grey area is the cover letter.

Since the cover letter is what most hiring managers read first, you have less than 10 seconds in which to make your reader want to put down your cover letter, pick up the phone and call you for a job interview. This 10 seconds makes or breaks you. It provides the information that hiring mangers use to make decisions on who gets called, interviewed, and hired.

It's your cover letter which decides that!

A cover letter with a concise format is easy to scan and shows respect for the reader's limited time.

Recruitment Managers don't have the time nor the inclination to sift through the hundreds of resumes they receive. If your resume is not available on the manager's desk at the correct time, with the correct format, the job assignment is going to go to the person whose resume and cover letter managed to get there first, even if you're the better person for the job.

Is this not better than waiting for an interview with your fingers crossed!

So, while resume preparation on your own is possible, there really is no substitute for letting a resume writer do it. Besides, if you are not getting any feedback on the resumes you have written, it is time you tried out a "professional resume writer".

Mainly because, it really doesn't pay to cut corners when it comes to your career.

If you still need more information, contact me, and perhaps we could discuss whether the fault lies with your resume !

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To live is to have problems and to solve problems is to grow intellectually

“To live is to have problems and to solve problems is to grow intellectually,” quoted J. P. Guilford. In other words, we all run into or face problems sometime, or the other. Problems can be work related, or personal problems and it can be said that one man’s solution to a problem could turn to be another’s nightmare. This is because according to Guilford's “Structure of Intellect” (SI) theory, an individual's performance on intelligence tests can be traced back to the underlying mental abilities, or factors of intelligence.

Personal Problem
About seven years ago, I became handicapped and this put me in a catch-22 situation. Here I was all set to go out for any little excuse but for some reason or the other, I just couldn’t get myself to doing it. It was absolute misery and it wasn’t a surprise when things spiraled quickly out of control. I managed to alienate myself from most of my friends and family and infact did a good job of it. It was then the computer and the net came to my rescue. It’s funny which how much you can do with this machine. There is enormous potential out there for mothers based at home who can work out wonders with this machine and the net and this applies to men working from home as well

Since then, it became a full time relationship with the computer and net and the question of doing another job did not even arise. Now, the subject question here is; whenever you ever run into such serious problems, what are the methods or processes that have been adopted in resolving it.

Sometimes, the problems resolve itself like in my case, and all it required was some time. In other words, it did not require any outside help, such as a shrink to resolve it. Ofcourse, I did visit a shrink but that’s another story and we’ll leave that for a rainy day

I say this because when you encounter problems and tend to ignore them, they just disappear. It gives you the feeling that when you tend to ignore them, they just solve itself. It’s magical, solutions emerge from nowhere. In fact, this method made me more relaxed and I refused to view problems as they are. Instead I only view them as solutions that have encountered a minor setback or delay.

Theoretically, majority of the problems resolve themselves in the long run. All that remains are the worry and tension that it caused. In a time based scenario, the only "problem" is that we don't know when the so-called problem would be resolved and the time-period could cause quite a bit of misery.

So let’s assume as per the subject topic we have run into a generic problem that need solutions. A problem as such cannot be described, as it must be remembered that no problem can exist in the absence of an objective. That is to say, we need to know exactly where we want to arrive so that we can properly determine our track, as well as direction.

In his lateral thinking theory, DeBono stressed the importance of “looking at a problem with a fresh perspective”. In other words, knowing our direction is an important aspect in problem solving.

Now, the first thing when I encounter a problem is change or restructure my way of thinking. For this I need sleep. By sleep, I mean a sound sleep. The sleep gives me a relaxed mind, and makes problem-solving far easier, instead of purely relying on intuition. After a sound sleep, your approach to solve the problem becomes more systematic, more balanced and logical. Starting from that point it becomes easier to see what lies in front of you.

The SIX Processes
After the sleep, it is better to split the problem into smaller problems and begin solving it step by step. It is realistic when you do this and write the processes down, as you would very soon begin to see the possible solutions that underlie within each problem. That is to say, in order to resolve problems effectively one has to understand the whole process and their role in making the problems work. And as we live in a talking culture, it is imperative that we put these things in writing. This procedure helps you identify the best solution embedded within each problem

After writing it down, the next step in our hypothetical problem is to identify pain points, if any, and identify the connections between the connecting pain points. This would help me understand the problem better and then take on the objectives and translate them into structured programs. Then I could evaluate which solution has the most advantages, and further break down these solutions into different stages, while at the same time conduct a SWOT analysis between solutions.

Thirdly, I will reflect on the possible solutions while consulting friends and relatives, and then conduct a strategic analysis and begin to tailor solutions according to feedback and sentiments. This would eventually result in deeper penetration and a larger perception of the whole problem

Stage number four is to evaluate all possible solutions, i.e., reviewing the problem point by point, while analyzing the pros and cons of each solution. The next step or stage number five is when I implement the decision. Last of all, stage number six is post-decision justification or evaluation of the outcome. Ofcourse this also means the implementation of any follow-up actions required.

Now the question is what have all these so called stages to do with my personal situation. Although, I applied all these processes, none of these methods were adopted in my case as the solution to my problem turned out to be time and patience. It was just out of frustration I started toying with the computer, and which eventually materialized in to a hobby and subsequently into a job. It is only when you encounter or run into problems, only then, these so called strategies materialize. In other words, it is only when you start visualizing the problem mathematically, you begin to analyze what the problem really is, and start approaching it in an organized and logical manner. Then the whole problem becomes easier to solve.

Conclusion
It is only when you start visualizing the problem mathematically, you begin to analyze what the problem really is and start approaching it in an organized and logical manner. Then the whole problem becomes easier to solve.

Don’t ever make the mistake of making the problem bigger than it is, as any solution appears to be good, and the actual problem is only as big as you perceive it to be. You should always visualize that you are "bigger" than the problem itself. This gives it a positive outlook, which definitely counts in solving problems in the long run. Finally, never give up whatever the problem may be. Just stick in there. You will soon find a solution. Remember, it is just that problems help you to enhance your ability to live happily.

Once you solve a problem, the feeling and satisfaction of solving it is so great that explaining it has just no words. In Living a Life That Matters, Harold S. Kushner (the Massachusetts rabbi whose best selling books include When Bad Things Happen to Good People) suggests that the most successful lives are the ones that most effectively manage and resolve their problems.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Employee Motivation At Work

The word "motivation", in psychology is the intention of achieving a goal, leading to goal-directed behavior.

In this view the general conclusion is that leadership is motivation and motivation is leadership, and that the two elements are inseparable. However, interestingly, no one has actually conceptualized motivation in a useful way to demonstrate and analyze the connection between it and leadership.

While Motivation clearly comes under personality and emotion, Leadership comes under cognitive psychology

But basically, belief is the solution to the problem.

Optimism is that which leads to achievement.

Nothing can be done without hope and confidence and this is where emotional aspect comes in.

Now by finding something positive in every situation, ninety-five percent of the emotions are determined by how one interpret events to oneself.

No one else 'makes us angry.' We make ourselves angry when we surrender control of our emotions and attitude. What someone else may have done is irrelevant as we are the one to choose and not them. What they do is merely put our attitude to a test

This is where the cognitive psychology comes in

The mind, if properly controlled, can do just about anything. You can think your way through adversity, you can think your way through problems. It is a powerful instrument which very few use to a maximum. And if the mind thinks with a believing attitude it can do amazing things. As a result of this the confidence improves and it is widely believed that confidence is contagious.

Now on the other hand, it is not so easy to acquire and then maintain this productive attitude.

It takes considerable experience, work, and time to find where your head needs to be in order to control such a situation, and to bring them into the lives of those you affect around you and this is what Leadership is all about.

When you continuously communicate and act upon the organization's mission, values, and goals, naturally your employees will be motivated to live the mission and maintain a high standard of behavior and productivity. This communication must start at the top and be communicated and acted upon at every level at every opportunity.

One of your organization's top values should be - Respect.

When you allow an employee to disrespect other team members through words or actions, you are not only destroying your organizations values but it could also lead to organizational and team turmoil, not to mention productivity issues.

For instance, extending common courtesies such as a "Good morning" or a nod as you pass workers in the hallway says to them that they are not invisible to you and has an immense effect in reward terms.

The second value should be - Recognition.

One of the two powerful words important in employee motivation are the words - Great Job.

By recognizing the work of others, you motivate them to keep working. You'll find that regularly giving verbal or written praise for a job well done goes a long way in making employees feel appreciated. If workers feel that they play an important part in the company by the work they provide, they are much more likely to seek ways to improve their performance.

The third value should be - Reward.

While cash incentives are a sure way to put a smile on an employee's face, there are other creative ways to motivate employees through such similar thoughtful gestures. For example, a Dinner at a local restaurant once-a-month or a birthday party would have great impact on their mode of functioning.

When working with top organizations, the more the organizational values are communicated and reinforced, more success the organization will achieve. This creates a motivated work environment and rewards employees based on the mission.

Another factor to remember is to be careful how you use your words.

Well, words do hurt.

The best advertising copywriters, political experts, speech writers, and screen writers are paid hundreds of thousands to create emotions with words, so that the end user is persuaded to act in a certain way. It is important to realize that once we say something that is hurtful can alienate our fellow employees and we may never be able to take it back.

We should all be careful with the words we use. It should be positive or motivating towards your fellow employees and thereby showing respect toward my team members with the words you use.

Also always encourage positive, motivating behavior and recognize good behavior whenever you can. Recognize the person(s) exhibiting positive behavior in team meetings and send him/ her personal memo/ letter from the CEO, etc. As a result of which, most of the employees will start emulating such a behavior. So always set an example by displaying your best motivating, respectful, and positive behavior.

On the other hand, also be prepared to take corrective action when you have employees who display inappropriate behavior. Make sure that you, as a Manager, document all discussions relating to such unacceptable behavior. Confer with HRD to receive expert advice on the next steps in the corrective action procedure. Then start implementing the corrective action and follow-up to ensure there is a positive change in their behavior.

Be timely in your follow-ups so that there is no lapse in time between the next situation of unacceptable behavior and the next level of corrective action. Try to immediately motivate and reinforce positive behavior changes.

Remember, if you show you are quick to take action for unacceptable behavior, this sends a message to your team members that you respect them as individuals and more so as team players. This would make them far more motivated because of your actions.

Apply these basic fundamentals and you will create a motivated workplace that achieves team and organizational goals.

As a closing line..... It is of great importance for you to realize that all your repetitive thoughts create ideas, which in turn create actions and which over time creates character. And if you allow too many negative, improper, incorrect thoughts to dominate you, the chances are you will never succeed...

Now something on the lighter side for the day...

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Manager asked a young engineer who was fresh out of engineering, "What starting salary were you thinking about?"

The Engineer said, "In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."

The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years - say, a red Jaguar?"

The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"

The interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Human Resources Outsourcing

As most of you may be aware, human resource outsourcing provides a number of benefits to a primary organization. Generally companies outsource product development to reduce costs, time saving, boost bottom line and focus on core activities

In most cases I have never asked my primary clients regarding their clientele.

As in an outsourcing process, it would be unethical of me to contact clients directly, unless advised. In most cases when I contact clients, it is only for clarification of information provided from the primary source

Below are just a few of the reasons why a parent organization should consider outsourcing. It can maintain control over critical functions, while taking advantage of outsourcing non-critical functions.

I can speak up for outsourcing of resume writing and freelance writing as I take on quite a lot of outsourcing jobs on “resume writing” and “freelance writing” on a regular basis

In the midst of hundreds, if not thousands of resumes, recruiters and employers receive for any given position; your resume needs to stand out from the crowd. You must make the Recruitment or HRD Manager of the identified or targeted company, read your resume more thoroughly than just the rudimentary 10-20 seconds the vast majority of your competition will warrant. The way to do this is by designing an accomplishment driven resume.

As a Manager, you would know that by retaining the services of a freelance writer, you pay only the writer's fee, as they do not require monthly retainers, and can be hired on a project basis. So payroll taxes, benefits costs, and other employee expenses are eliminated.

Besides, a freelance writer works on a per project basis and works to deadlines.

So, the parent company’s projects are completed on time and on budget. In addition, customers need to see new content and how the services are changing with the times. A freelance writer has the skills to handle complex research and fact checking. Besides, a freelance writer can accommodate special needs and schedules, and can provide fresh perspective and expertise, that staff writers may have lost

In short, there is cost containment through reallocation of resources, by freeing up valuable resources to perform other duties, thereby getting a significant cost savings benefit, besides, the time savings benefit. This allows the parent company to focus on critical processes. Moreover, when employees know that writing projects are handled by a freelance writer, they have the time to concentrate on what they do best.

At this moment India is a favorite destination for human resource outsourcing for the IT sector outsourcing for US offshore outsourcing companies.

India is the leading Asian region in the outsourcing sector, while China comes a close second. Other Countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines etc are the other Asian countries that are growing rapidly in outsourcing sector and countries that outsource for big profits. Taking into consideration the outsourcing market in general, a big portion of outsourcing business will shift to Asian region because of low cost and excellent work.


Following are the factors which makes India a favorite offshoring center

- Stable government and the political stability.
- Development policies by government
- Pro -IT outsourcing government policies
- Good english speaking skilled professionals
- Economically stable
- Excellent GDP growth – 8%
- Highly IT skilled work force
- Good IT infrastructure
- Very good internet and telephone networks
- Telephone users - over 49 million
- Internet Users - over 19 million
- Good labor supply and cheap labour cost
- Good work force - More than 2 million IT graduates per year.
- Strong Technical and Professional Educational System ( IITs and IIMs )

India is doing well in IT offshore outsourcing and will continue to perform well mainly due to its skilled and excellent English speaking work force and can easily supply labor to the IT industry for the next 10 years

That’s about it for now – So, if you need a research assistant online, do drop me a line.

Give me a call should you need to outsource low cost any of your writing projects or need any information on how to outsource low cost any of your works.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Importance Of Learning A Foreign Language

A few years back an article in the Time magazine suggested that foreign languages should be taught to children as early as possible.

The American Council on Education had also sometime back, called on education decision makers to make foreign language an essential part of a college education. It was envisioned that every baccalaureate holder should be competent in a foreign language as they move into the next century.

Infact, it was somewhere around this time that the American Association of School Administrators had short listed the need of foreign languages as one of the most important subjects that the students required to thrive in the 21st century.

Even though the US regards itself as the world’s melting pot, it has very low levels of proficiency in learning a foreign language. To put it briefly, most students usually study only English, or start learning a second language, when the gaining proficiency becomes a bit too late. In other words, although there are many skills around, a secondary or a foreign language is a skill or a trait that that most people could benefit from mastering.

The importance of learning a foreign language is continuing to increase day by day. Just to quote an example - the inflow of Hispanic immigrants into the US has created a greater need for Spanish translators and interpreters.

Research shows that by studying another language, it would enhance the academic skills of students by increasing their abilities in reading, writing, and maths. It was also noted that bilingual children show that they grasp linguistic concepts such as words having several meanings faster and earlier than their monolingual counterparts. With so many different languages globally, knowing a foreign language can give a person an edge in a multilingual world.

There are many jobs today that would igirectly or directly benefit from a foreign language. In other words, although there are many skills around, a secondary or a foreign language is a skill or a trait that that most people could benefit from mastering.

However, it is to be remembered that while it is nice to know two or more languages and if one of them is not English, then you are increasingly sidetracked in a world where the official language of science is English, the language of the Internet is English, the language of pilots and aviation is English, the language of commerce is English.

So, studying a foreign language is a nice sounding development, but without the opportunity for utilization, it becomes more of a waste. In other words, if you learn a language just as a hobby or just for the sake of learning it, it does not have an use and amounts to a waste of time.

Personally, I reckon it is great to know more than one language, and if one works in some areas of the US it becomes more evident as to why it is so important to know a foreign language.

Society also profits both economically and politically, not to mention socially as well, when its citizens are able to co-relate and communicate with immigrants from other cultures.

Parents should think twice and make use of the many available opportunities and resources that have been identified for learning a foreign language

Monday, November 24, 2008

65 Roses Or Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (also known as CF, mucovoidosis, or mucoviscidosis) is a hereditary terminal disease of the lungs and pancreas marked by severe coughing and malnutrition. It affects the exocrine (mucus) glands of the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines, causing progressive disability due to multisystem failure.

Thick mucus production results in frequent lung infections. Diminished secretion of pancreatic enzymes is the main cause of poor growth, fatty diarrhea, and deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins.

Often, symptoms of CF appear in infancy and childhood. Meconium ileus is a typical finding in newborn babies with CF. Individuals with cystic fibrosis can be diagnosed prior to birth by genetic testing. Newborn screening tests are increasingly common and effective (although false positives may occur, and children need to be brought in for a sweat test to distinguish disease vs carrier status).

Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common life-shortening, childhood-onset inherited diseases

In the US alone, about 1 in 4,000 are born with CF. It appears to be most common among western European populations and Ashkenazi Jews. That is to say about one in twenty-two people of Mediterranean descent are carriers of one gene for CF, making it the most common genetic disease in these populations. Incidentally, Ireland has the highest rate of CF carriers in the world, about 1 in 20.

The pancreas contains the islets of Langerhans, which are responsible for making insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose. Damage of the pancreas can lead to loss of the islet cells, leading to diabetes that is unique to those with the disease. Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD), as it is known as, shares characteristics that can be found in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics and is one of the principal non-pulmonary complications of CF. Vitamin D is involved in calcium and phosphorus regulation.

Poor intake of Vitamin D in the diet causes the bone disease Osteoporosis in which weakened bones are more vulnerable to fractures. Beisdes, people with CF also often develop clubbing of their fingers and toes due to the effects of chronic illness and low oxygen on their tissues.

Younger children with cystic fibrosis in the United States call their disease 65 Roses because the words are easier to pronounce. This trademarked phrase has been popularized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Sixty-Five Roses, the book is the heart-wrenching, yet beautiful account of two sister's love for each another as one sister battles daily for her life with cystic fibrosis. It seems to be a lifetime story that leaves no emotion in a safe harbor. Her life seems to be a daily struggle, crammed with treatments, hospitalizations, false starts and faint hope, setbacks and unfulfilled dreams. She communicates well the complicated feelings that long-term illness can breed in families.

From the few pages that I have read, I can assure you is that it is told with complete honesty and with a soft conscience. Although I haven’t got down to finishing it, it appears that it surely would be one of the most moving memoirs that I may have ever read.

Readers tell me that each page is breathtaking, pulsating and leaves you wanting to never stop reading as the story is fascinating from beginning to end.

I can quite understand the support and love in a family towards the person inflicted with cystic fibrosis and highlights the complicated feelings that long-term illness can breed in families. Like in any battle they live and fight it together and learn to triumph over it in as many ways. Must truly be one helluva journey.

It was nominated as the Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of 2006

Read this book: your life will never be the same claims the Storycircle Book Review.

Now that I have it, I must get down to finishing it one of these days.

Since 1965, the term "65 Roses" has been used by children of all ages to describe their disease. But, making it easier to say does not make CF any easier to live with. The "65 Roses" story has captured the hearts and emotions of all who have heard it. The rose, appropriately the ancient symbol of love, has become a symbol of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Many Ways to Give

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Skinny On MUFAs - The Flat Belly Diet

We all want great looking abs.

One of their biggest problem areas is the stomach, and toning the abs and a getting a flat tummy is one helluva task – I can tell you that from personal experience. Let me tell you it is very difficult to lose that belly fat and flatten out the abs.

Recently, a study on belly fat has indicated that is the cause for an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. To make matters worse for fat people, it also links belly fat to early death. The study says that the people with belly fat has about double the risk of dying prematurely as people with the least amount of belly fat.

Death risk increased with waist circumference, whether the participants were overweight or not.

Recently, the Flat Belly Diet was created for people who have tried everything to eliminate belly fat. It offers a solution that combines a cutting-edge nutrition plan with expert tips and advice.

The Flat Belly Diet was developed by the editor of Prevention Magazine. The Diet was inspired by findings that the consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids, commonly called MUFAs, causes the liver to more efficiently excrete fats, LDL cholesterol and other toxins from the body so that they do not form fat clusters around the mid section, which is what happens when there is no MUFAs present at meal time.

It is centered around new research that discovered that eating healthy fats (Monounsaturated Fatty Acids or MUFAs) at every meal specifically targets belly fat, the most dangerous fat because of its high correlation with heart disease.

MUFAs are a type of heart-healthy, disease-fighting, “good” fat found in foods like almonds, peanut butter, olive oil, avocado, even chocolate

MUFAs are an unsaturated fat, and have the exact opposite effect of the unhealthy saturated and trans fats you’ve heard about in the news. According to exciting new research, MUFAs can actually help you lose weight, specifically around your middle!

FlatBellyDiet.com is healthy, sustainable weight loss at your fingertips. They also offer a Flat Belly Diet Book, free-1 year membership to the Flat Belly Diet site, exclusive membership to their Success Story Club and the likelihood to see the exclusive Flat Belly Diet Videos.

They are offering 3 months of FREE membership at their online program. What have you got to lose (pardon the pun!)… Give it a try !


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Friday, November 21, 2008

Choose A Vegan Lifestyle - Look And Feel Better

It is said that you are basically what you eat!

A family can easily and safely avoid the chemicals, preservatives, growth hormones and other harmful toxins found in almost all of today's meats and over-processed foods! If you are a meat eater and have continuously eaten meat, this might make you think.

After all, you got along so far by eating eggs, hamburgers, dairy products, hot dogs, poultry, beef, pork, fish - so why should you go vegetarian now?

If you project to people that they don’t abuse their car like they abuse their bodies – they would perhaps get the message a lot better !

When we eat high fat meats, low fiber processed foods, and fill our bodies with preservatives and chemicals, we're much more prone to high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and other serious health issues.

A car engine that hasn’t been tuned or isn’t getting the type of gasoline it needs simply will not run efficiently, nor "live" for as long as it was intended to do.

Hence, the human body shares the same concept with a car

And when you’re eating high fat meat, or meat that’s been fed antibiotics throughout, that’s simply not the kind of fuel the human body is intended to use!

While I do believe that vegetarianism is a healthy choice and that eating no meat or red meat could be more beneficial in combating diseases like high cholesterol and hypertension, I have my reservations. While I also respect vegetarians and their choice not to eat meat, I on the other hand do not have any religious / moral convictions about not eating meat.

Although I am partly a vegetarian, I just love my Beef Burgers and Chicken Tikka too much. But all said and done, there is a rule at home that no meat or non-vegetarian food would be cooked at home, except for eggs – so if I want to feast on something “meaty” I gotta get it from outside (and this is allowed only once/ twice a week).

Now as I said earlier, but from studies conducted it is obvious that overall, vegetarians or veggie eating people are a lot slimmer than their meat-eating counterparts. Here are my thoughts on this - I was in a relationship once with someone who was a vegetarian (a salad and fruits woman) and she never seemed to put on any weight and that was the reason she never put on any weight.

So for all practical purposes, I can call my vegetarian and I still have put on tremendous amount of weight. This goes to show that vegetarian doesn’t really mean only vegetables and fruits, but there are fats (sweets, desserts, syrups), carbohydrates (rice and others) – the list is endless. So there is no guarantee that you are gonna lose weight by just avoiding meat. Meat taken at reasonable amounts can lead to a balanced weight

Vegetarians (fruits and vegetables people) tends to be in better health than people who eat meat, and they don’t suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and any other diseases which tend to be linked with being overweight.

In other words, you can eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and yet not gain any weight. This goes on to indicate that the food eaten in a vegetarian diet helps with the fat burning process. It also indicates that eating vegetables helps with insulin resistance instead of the food being stored as fat it tends to get taken up by the cells and burnt off hence no weight gain.

I guess, it would also make a compelling case for vegetarianism if it could be shown that the founder of one of the major religions (Christianity) was a vegetarian, even though the religion he founded does not actually require its adherents to practice vegetarianism.

So just for kicks, try eating vegetarian (fruits and vegetables) for a week or two. See for yourself if you feel different, more mentally acute and note any difference

Gets you thinking….right?

Percentage of Various Groups Who Never Eat Meat (Rounded to Whole Numbers)
• 7% Total Adults
• 5% Male
• 9% Female
• 9% 45- to 54-year-olds
• 5% 18- to 24-year-olds
• 8% North East
• 6% North Central
• 6% South
• 7% West
• 6% White (excluding Hispanic)
• 7% Black (excluding Hispanic)
• 8% Hispanic
• 4% High School Not Completed
• 6% High School Graduate
• 8% College Graduate

Dietary Habits of Adults 18 and Older (in the United States in 2006)
• 100% Total adults
• 6.7% Never eat meat
• 6.3% Never eat poultry
• 14.6% Never eat fish/seafood
• 7.6% Never eat dairy products
• 8.8% Never eat eggs
• 23.4% Never eat honey
• 2.3% Never eat meat, poultry, fish/seafood (vegetarian)
• 1.4% Never eat meat, poultry, fish/seafood, dairy products/eggs (vegan)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Affiliate Program - Rainbrooke (Colorful Laptop Bags)

Rainebrooke offers colorful and stylish laptop bags designed for active, modern and mobile laptop users who want a break from the traditional laptop bag. Tell your visitors about one of our laptop bags, all of our bags, our company or post one of our banners and get paid for every bag you sell. Our bags also make great gifts... with the holidays just around the corner now is the perfect time to promote our products.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Divine Press Release..

Turmoil rocked Heaven this morning as allegations arose that God had an affair with a former worshipper.

The scandal was begun when a 21 year old woman, known only as Mary, claimed that she had given birth to God's "only son" last week in a barn in the hamlet of Bethlehem.

Sources close to Mary claim that she "had loved God for a long time", that she was constantly talking about her relationship with God, and that she was "thrilled to have had his child."

In a press conference this morning, God issued a vehement denial, saying that "No sexual relationship existed", and that "the facts of this story will come out in time, verily".

Independent counsel Kenneth Beelzebub immediately filed a brief with the Justice department to expand his investigation to cover questions of whether any commandments may have been broken, and whether God had illegally funneled laundered money to his illegitimate child through three foreign operatives know only as the "Wise Men".

Beelzebub has issued subpoenas to several angels who are rumored to have acted as go-betweens in the affair. Critics have pointed out that these allegations have little to do with the charges that Beelzebub was originally appointed to investigate, that God had created large-scale flooding in order to cover up evidence of a failed land deal.

In recent months, Beelzebub's investigation has already been expanded to cover questions surrounding the large number of locusts that plagued God's political opponents in the last election, as well as to claims that the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah was to divert attention away from a scandal involving whether the giveaway of a parcel of public land in Promised County to a Jewish special interest group was quid pro quo for political contributions.

If these allegations prove to be true, then this could be a huge blow to God's career, much of which has been spent crusading for stricter moral standards and harsher punishments for wrongdoers. Indeed, God recently outlined a "tough-on-crime" plan consisting of a series of 10 "Commandments", which has been introduced in Congress in a bill by Rep. Moses.

Critics of the bill have pointed out that it lacks any provisions for the rehabilitation of criminals, and lawyers for the ACLU are planning to fight the "Name in Vain" Commandment as being an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Review- GoDaddy.com

GoDaddy.com provides a one-stop shop for individuals and businesses to establish maintain and evolve an online presence. They have a vast product offering, 24/7 customer service and most of all low prices on domain, hosting services, email and much more.

Actually, I have found GoDaddy.com to be more helpful for my smaller sites. They are very easy to use, and can be reached 24/7 by phone which is a plus for any newbies.Come to think of it – which host is available 24/7 to answer to your questions via telephone?

No, it is not a robot or a dumb guy who responds but the guys from GoDaddy.com really do help you!Experienced hosting guys are a lot more useful if you know what you're doing in a more advanced level in which case you don't need their help. However, for smaller sites, it's a blessing in disguise.

To top it off, the best thing about GoDaddy.com is that their domains are very affordable, unlike other sites.

But what I wasn’t aware was the anti GoDaddy.com school of thought!

Apparently if GoDaddy.com gets a report of spam they close the domain - with no dialogue with the domain owner. Both Yaro and Mike are big guys to come out with such negativity about GoDaddy.com’s spam policy that it put me off – as I felt what they did was correct. Nonetheless, personally, I have found them to be great. They're really cheap for domain names, and I've never had any problem contacting them.

I first heard of GoDaddy.com a year ago when I was on the quest of finding a great deal in buying a domain. Fortunately, I stumbled upon GoDaddy.com. They accepted payments through PayPal and/ or credit cards. Since then, GoDaddy.com has now been serving me well for quite some time. To date, I have two domains which I bought from GoDaddy.com. Fast processing of the order and worry free service – what more do you want

So, in short,

1. They do have very high uptime and I thought it felt about right for the industry but it wasn't of the highest quality uptime but they rarely ever went down.

2. The support is good if you use skype and have skype credit. Their number is not toll free which is a big NO in the hosting industry.

3. If you make account changes like update DNS servers, update who is contact details, create a mysql database the command gets put into a queue and processed within 15 minutes. So if you need instance access to everything and instant updates you are not going to be happy.

Lastly, their prices are one of the best

So, Godaddy.com is fine from my experience with them. They are easily accessible thanks to their 24/7 telephone support. If you have an issue, just give them a call? Honestly a 24/7 web hosting company that exist today is amongst the rarest around.



http://www.godaddy.com/default.aspx?isc=socsparkb1

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Benefits Of Learning A Second Language

The world is becoming a smaller place with so much common global interests that learning a second language has become almost a necessity. It is also very handy when you travel

With so many different languages globally, knowing a second language can give a person an edge in a multilingual world. This advantage could be used almost anywhere which includes the work area, a foreign province or a country, and least of all even in our schools.

Today there are many jobs that would benefit from a second language. In other words, it could help anyone from a taxi-driver to a grocery clerk. No matter what career you choose, if you’ve learned a second language, you’ll have a real advantage. A technician who is able to speak German and the Executive who is able to converse in Spanish or a salesman who can talk fluently in French or Chinese has the ability to interact more successfully with more people and in many more places than someone who knows only one language.

Learning a second language at an early age has a positive effect on academic growth and definitely enriches and enhances a child's mental development. In other words, it provides students with more flexibility in their thinking, sensitivity to the language, and by far a better ear for listening. It also improves the child's understanding of their native language. The advantages are so powerful and it imparts cultural stimulation and assists the child to understand and appreciate people from other countries and become increasingly aware of other cultures and traditions. Basically, it gives a child the ability to communicate with people whom they would otherwise not have the chance to know.

It also provides the base or a foundation for the language requirements in college, and last of all, it increases their chances in the global job markets, where knowing another language is a real asset. They would be able to communicate with more people and it could get them a better higher paid job.

However, a ’second language’ is a nice sounding development. But without the opportunity for utilization, it becomes more of a waste. As a language without utilization just doesn’t work, and will amount to a huge waste of time.

They say that Spanish has become the dominant language in the Miami area and it is said that over 50% of the residents are Spanish speaking. To top it all, many residents were leaving the area because they were unable to find jobs because of their inability to speak Spanish. Besides, in some areas of the city, Spanish was the only language spoken.

The government will not do anything that would possibly make English the official language. On the other hand, as Spanish speakers become the majority, would they have any motivation to learn English?

Hence, while it is nice to know two or more languages and if one of them is not English, then you are increasingly sidetracked in a world where the official language of Science is English, the language of the Internet is English, the language of Pilots and Aviation is English and the language of Commerce is English.

On a closing note, a second language can not only challenge your mind, but can also teach you empathy and consideration.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Anna Karenina - A Review

I'm going to be reading Anna Karenina yet again.

I honestly have no idea how many times I've read this but all I know it’s been quite sometime, since I last read it. Re-reading that novel was also on my to-do list for a long time... So it was time I got down to it.

I certainly appreciate Anna Karenina and consider it to be, structurally speaking, a great novel. Maybe one of the greatest ever novels. But my first choice will always be War and Peace

The greatest novel ever written - that's the kind of thing people used to say about Anna Karenina. I wasn't sure about that. Even then, I wasn't interested in list making. But I did know that Anna Karenina the most magnificent of heroines. A lot of people who have read Anna K have felt resurrection and will never be the same person again

In short, Anna Karenina is a novel by Russian writer LEO TOLSTOY, and it was first published in serial installments from 1873-77. Due to the clash between the author and editor the novel’s first complete appearance arose in book form. Tolstoy considered this book his first true novel. The character of Anna was likely inspired, in part, by Maria Hartung (1832–1919), the elder daughter of the Russian poet PUSHKIN. Some critics called it a trifling romance of high life and others declared it as ‘flawless work of art’.

Tolstoy, for a few years he wrestled with the idea of a story of a "bad" woman -- outside the social norms, someone who would be punished for transgressing? It was only when he came to fall in love with her -- and found himself unable to think of an ending good enough for her -- that he began to reconsider her suicide along the lines of a courageous woman -- a split off part of his own personality -- torn between the hunger for stability and the desire for unconventionality. It made me wonder whether there is contemporary literature today that rises to this level of ambition

Anna is the centerpiece, the focus of his attention and he details the psychological turmoil she is going through. Her suicide seems to be result of a guilt she suffers from for flouting the convention and rules of the society. Her love and Vronsky’s too fails to keep the guilt at bay. There is an additional trauma of her being separated from her child.

But I will say this about Tolstoy, the way he portrays Anna, she almost seems to ’self-destruct’, consumed by her own ghosts. So if there was any message in it about women-who-have-extramarital-affairs will die, it was very subtle.

As you say, by contrast, her brother Stiva’s numerous flings are seen more lightheartedly. But as they say ’’that a woman in greater need for a man’s love throw themselves into the arms of the first man who, they think, will satisfy their emotional needs’’. In case of Anna it’s much more than an emotional need, though it is also one of the factors. Anna becomes insecure, she struggles with ’’morality’’ and searches frantically for a way out of the mess her life had become - she almost forgets the difference between right and wrong, and enters into state of madness and there lies the anomaly.

Basically, give Anna a read sometime, then go for War and Peace.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sir Salman The Clown

Eight floors above, in the Random House boardroom, Rushdie is sipping takeaway coffee, and looking both professorial and profoundly amused. These days he is, as the receptionist implies, a novelist more talked about than read, a situation he is keen to reverse.

It wasn't always thus. Back in 1981 when he won the Booker Prize for Midnight's Children, an instant classic, he was the hottest young writer of the day. That all changed in 1989 when, following publication of The Satanic Verses, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa calling for its author's death.

Overnight, Rushdie stopped being "just" a novelist and became a weird hybrid – a man in hiding who was also a public figure, a visible symbol of freedom of speech who was, himself, invisible. Rushdie was forced into hiding for 10 years over his book's alleged slight on the prophet Mohammed.

Having said that were it not for the first lot of Moslem nonsense over his book the Satanic Verses, and a certain Iranian getting a fatwa on his arse few people would not really have heard of him. They do say that publicity no matter what type is good, as Oscar Wilde said something on the lines of it was better to be talked about than not talked about all. I am sure Salman is sat back cashing in the cheques and thinking, each death threat means a few more book sales.

What a lot of people don’t know was that he had round-the-clock police protection costing nearly £1 million a year, although that has been downgraded in recent years after Iran indicated the death sentence no longer applied.

I have to remind myself I’m a writer, not just a fighter, and that’s the story of my life, said Rushdie. Living in hiding is worse than death and your detractors will always try to discredit your work.

Now for those who came in late - a quick biography……

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is an Indian born novelist and essayist. He was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) on 19 June 1947. He went to school in Bombay and at Rugby in England, and read History at King's College, Cambridge, where he joined the Cambridge Footlights theatre company. After graduating, he lived with his family who had moved to Pakistan in 1964, and worked briefly in television before returning to England, beginning work as a copywriter for an advertising agency. His first novel, Grimus, was published in 1975.

He first achieved fame with his second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), which won the Booker Prize for fiction in 1981, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction), an Arts Council Writers' Award and the English-Speaking Union Award, and in 1993 was judged to have been the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize for Fiction in the award's 25-year history.

Salman Rushdie is Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was made Distinguished Fellow in Literature at the University of East Anglia in 1995. He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 1993 and the Aristeion Literary Prize in 1996, and has received eight honorary doctorates. He was elected to the Board of American PEN in 2002. In the spring of 2007, Rushdie was named Distinguished Writer in Residence in the English Department at Emory University. Phew !

“Midnight's Children” narrates key events in the history of India through the story of pickle-factory worker Saleem Sinai, one of 1001 children born as India won independence from Britain in 1947.


The critic Malcolm Bradbury acclaimed the novel's achievement in The Modern British Novel (Penguin, 1994) as a new start for the late-twentieth-century novel.

Much of his early fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism mixed with historical fiction, and a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.

The author's own biography is of a boy born in 1947, educated in an `English public school ethos' school in Bombay, then leaving India as a teenager to complete his education at a major public school in England, and then Cambridge University, before making a career for ten years as an advertising copywriter in London. Lack of deep and broad insight into India and its people, much beyond his own rather narrow background and what one can pick up from books, newspapers, TV docs and acquaintances in England, is perhaps unsurprising. Now I know that I am being a bit over the top here, but aren’t all of from the same mould ?

Nonetheless, anyone who liked Rushdie’s other books is bound to love this one as well. The book certainly has some great moments that will definitely hold your interest.

Unfortunately, whatever people say, I have my views and perhaps that may be to the fact that I am not such a big fan of Salman Rushdie. However, at times, he rocks !

For example, there is the recent row over Muslim women's dress codes reignited today after author Salman Rushdie declared that "veils suck". Speaking as somebody with three sisters and a very largely female Muslim family, he added that there's not a single woman that he knows in his family, or in his friends circle who would have accepted wearing the veil. He was expressing an important opinion, which is that veils suck, which in fact, they do and he felt that in other words it is way of taking power away from women. No comments, but it takes a lot of guts to speak up.

The fatwa was lifted in 1997, and in more recent years Rushdie's public image has altered to that of literary playboy. The new view is that he spends his time attending parties with Bono, squiring beautiful young women (his marriage to the actress, model and TV presenter Padma Lakshmi ended last year) and hanging out with Martin Amis and Ian McEwan, the novelists with whom he supposedly forms a neocon triumvirate. Being a literary playboy is easier than being a fugitive from Islamic vengeance, but the divorce seems to have left a devastating effect on Salman Rushdie

Once reclusive, now apparently a global gadabout with homes in London, New York and his native India. He gets called lots of things – arrogant, smug, and overindulged – but in the final analysis, could Sir Salman be nothing more than a good bloke to whom some bad things have happened?
We start by talking about his new novel, The Enchantress Of Florence, which is set during the 16th century and in which Rushdie forges a connection between the sexual decadence of Medieval Florence and the sensual world of India's Mughal Empire. He has been working on the book for three years, and seems to feel that it proves, after almost a decade of bad reviews, that he remains a world-class novelist. "Sometimes when you finish a book you don't know quite what you've got," he says. "This time I actually felt happy when I finished it. As far as I can tell, this is not bad. The last time I really felt that way was Haroun And The Sea Of Stories, and before that Midnight's Children."

Rushdie, who studied history, did an enormous amount of research for "Enchantress," and there is the odd inclusion, for a novel, of an 83-book bibliography. The purpose, he said, was to acknowledge the work he built upon as well as to ward off any accusations that he copied other sources.

He particularly said that he did not want some smart aleck to go find the facts mentioned in his book and say that he stole it from another source.
He added that it is obvious that he has done extensive research and has taken stuff from all over the place. The only existing record of the Ottoman campaign against Dracula, for instance, is a journal written by a young Serbian janissary named Konstantine, who describes arriving at a town finding 20,000 people impaled on stakes. The image that particularly haunted Rushdie was of a mother with a baby, and he uses this description of 'crows nesting in her hollowed breasts.'

That's his, not mine," said Rushdie, who used it in "Enchantress." "But who can beat that for a description?"

The Enchantress Of Florence is also an important book for Rushdie because writing it helped him recover from his split from Lakshmi, his fourth wife.

After three years of marriage, they had split and for around two months, he was unable to work, but eventually found comfort in flitting imaginatively through the whorehouses and harems of Florence and the Mughal court. In his novels there is a recurring motif of artists literally disappearing into their own work, and he seems to have done something similar here, sinking into his own pages, sighing with pleasure and relief.

The two novels also share a fairytale quality. Rushdie is a great admirer of fairy stories and fables, a habit that he and his sisters were told when they were kids Memories of Ali Baba, Aladdin, Sinbad were the stories that his father told him and which he enjoys watching as movies. This was enormously important to his later development as a magical realist writer, but what it did at the time was bond him to his father, Anis Ahmed Rushdie, a small businessman in Bombay.

One of the few things that he remembers about his father was that he was a very good storyteller. However, he had a problem with drink and that made him difficult, but he was a very good father of small children – entertaining and amusing and entrancing. He had more difficulties with all of us when we acquired minds of our own, but as a child he was completely enchanted by him.

How did the relationship change? "Well, it got much worse and then it got better again.
There was a long time when he was in his thirties that things got so worse and they were not on talking terms. However, when his cancer was diagnosed he went back to meet him and they became immensely close. There wasn't very long between his diagnosis and his dying, but he says that it was during that time they put away most of their problems.

It then appears that on his 40th birthday (June, 87), his father wrote him a very long letter (which he still retains) in which he had spoken to him about his work. He had never really spoken to him about his work before as he found it hard to do so, but that letter it appears was extraordinary and deeply affecting. In short, towards the end they became very attached

He died in November that year

It isn’t surprising that he is called the literary playboy and the connection he has with women. He was born in Bombay in 1947 and his sisters arrived one, five and 14 years later. He seems to have had many more close women friends than men. Besides, the fact that in his family there was always the presence of such a disproportionate female element.

He grew up surrounded by confident, assertive women. One of his aunts married a general in the Pakistan army and became a high society figure. The other was one of the great intellectuals of her generation and through her he met some of the greatest writers and poets. In short, his knowledge of women was that they were anything but the clich√© of mild, self-effacing Indian women. They were extremely confident, forthright and took no ‘shit’

This influence is paramount in his books as well. His friendship with women is evident in many of his books. He has never had any problems in making friends with women, perhaps it was due to the fact that they understood that he was only trying to be their friend and not trying to get them to bed. Many men start being friendly with women because they are trying to seduce them.

He maintains that the women he befriends are not for any other purpose but with the only purpose of hanging out with them. Perhaps a “seduction” is a bonus (pardon the pun). That said; let's not forget that Rushdie has been married four times. Seduction cannot be a completely foreign art for him. He feels that he has done his share and laughs at the fact of being viewed as a ‘Don Juan’, albeit embarrassing. Four marriages and still he remains an optimistic and romantic idiot !

It does seem to me that even now, aged 60 and with two children of his own, he craves acceptance. This desire to belong, would explain, for instance, why being awarded a knighthood made him so happy, why it meant so much to him that Indian readers took Midnight's Children to their hearts, and the very fact that why it hurts so much that The Satanic Verses was banned in that country.

Last June, when Queen Elizabeth knighted him, many of the issues that have dogged Rushdie over the past 20 years were freshly aroused, not only among Muslims around the world but also among political kin contemptuous that an avowed leftist would accept such an imperial honor, and conservatives who lashed out at him because they believed he was once again endangering Britain's security.

It appears that he deeply resented the assaults on him, and couldn’t quite fathom the animosity. Perhaps he should write a book titled “Sir Shalimar The Clown” and quieten his critics

Then, a few weeks later, he announced that Lakshmi was leaving him (she informed him via e-mail). Cheap…….didn’t think she would do that, but what to do, her upbringing is evident. Poor Sir Salman, he still hasn’t quite understood her.

Now if Rushdie happens to be spotted having a drink with an attractive woman, he is soon likely to be greeted with a headline like "Salman Rushdie Is Once Again On The Prowl in Midtown," in some New York magazine (no names here). Not being able to work was one of the terrible byproducts of his breakup with Lakshmi, Rushdie said. He has described the split as a "nuclear bomb dropped in your living room when you're trying to work. What a sentimental idiot – there are more to some guys that never are written.

As Rushdie himself acknowledges, he enjoys going out and socializing. Tell me something new. Perhaps, it might help him relax and get “himself out of the system” after a day of slogging and groom himself for another grueling day

Rushdie now lives in Manhattan but regularly commutes to London to see his family, and keeps a punishing lecture and touring schedule in North America and Europe. A theme that repeatedly surfaces in "Enchantress" is the illusion that one can come home after a long journey and find peace.

And to set the record straight, he recently clarified that all the people that he has been recently associated with “in such reports”, are not true.

He went a step further to add “I'm totally eligible, single and available." Any takers ? You kidding ?

What an old fart ! (with all due apologies)

Wishing him another four more marriages !

Bibliography
· Grimus (1975)
· Midnight's Children (1981)
· Shame (1983)
· The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (1987)
· The Satanic Verses (1988)
· Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990)
· Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism, 1981 - 1991 (1992)
· Homeless by Choice (1992, with R. Jhabvala and V. S. Naipaul)
· East, West (1994)
· The Moor's Last Sigh (1995)
· The Firebird's Nest (1997)
· The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999)
· The Screenplay of Midnight's Children (1999)
· Fury (2001)
· Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992 - 2002 (2002)
· Shalimar the Clown (2005)
· The Enchantress of Florence (2008)
· The Best American Short Stories (2008, as Guest Editor)

Prizes and awards

· 1981 Arts Council Writers' Award
· 1981 Booker Prize for Fiction Midnight's Children
· 1981 English-Speaking Union Award Midnight's Children
· 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction) (joint winner) Midnight's Children
· 1983 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) Shame
· 1984 Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger (France) Shame
· 1988 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) The Satanic Verses
· 1988 Whitbread Novel Award The Satanic Verses
· 1989 German Author of the Year The Satanic Verses
· Kurt Tucholsky Prize (Sweden)
· 1992 Writers' Guild Award (Best Children's Book) Haroun and the Sea of Stories
· Austrian State Prize for European Literature
· 1993 Booker of Bookers (special award made to celebrate 25 years of the Booker Prize)
· Prix Colette (Switzerland)
· 1995 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) The Moor's Last Sigh
· 1995 British Book Awards Author of the Year The Moor's Last Sigh
· 1995 Whitbread Novel Award The Moor's Last Sigh
· Aristeion Literary Prize
· Mantova Literary Prize (Italy)
· Budapest Grand Prize for Literature (Hungary)
· Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
· Freedom of the City, Mexico City (Mexico)
· 2005 Whitbread Novel Award (shortlist) Shalimar The Clown
· 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region, Best Book) Shalimar The Clown
· 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (shortlist) Shalimar The Clown
· KBE
· 2007 Man Booker International Prize (shortlist)
· 2008 Best of the Booker Midnight's Children


Publisher (General enquiries) Agent

Jonathan Cape Ltd The Wylie Agency (UK) Ltd
Random House UK Ltd 17 Bedford Square
20 Vauxhall Bridge Road London WC1B 3JA
London SW1V 2SA England
England Tel: +44 (0)20 7908 5900
Tel: +44 (0)20 7840 8539 Fax: +44 (0)20 7908 5901
Fax: +44 (0)20 7932 0077 E-mail: mail@wylieagency.co.uk


References :

· Salman Rushdie – Wikipedia
· Summaries of all his novels and links to interviews with Salman Rushdie
· Salman Rushdie -- An Overview
· Salman Rushdie Biography -- Books and Writers
· Salman Rushdie Biography -- British Council
· Salman Rushdie – IMDB
· Salman Rushdie Interview -- Salon.com
· Salman Rushdie Interview -- Powell’s Books
· Salman Rushdie: An interview
· Salman Rushdie interviewed by Ginny Dougary (2005)
· The Irshad Manji interview with Salman Rushdie
· A Timeline -- Salman Rushdie
· Salman Rushdie Profile -- The Blanket
· Notes on The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
· The Ayatollah, the Novelist, and the West by Daniel Pipes, Commentary
· The fatwa on Salman Rushdie
· http://www.aspenwriters.org/AspenPrizeBios.html
· http://living.scotsman.com/books/Magical-thinking--Salman-Rushdie.3999048.jp
· http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/books/25cohe.html?pagewanted=print
· http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/offthepage/guide.htm?command=Search&db=/catalog/main.txt&eqisbndata=0099578514
· http://www.dailypress.com/topic/sfl-bkrushdiesbjun29,0,1472902.story?page=1
· http://society.indianetzone.com/literature/1/salman_rushdie.htm

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Of Twits And Clowns

John McCain makes me roll in laughter…

He is a joke and he is immature and he makes immature and irresponsible decisions. Giving him power to lead a country is like giving a 4 year old a crayon in front of a wall and telling him not to write on it

I beg to disagree…

Why, you may ask

Well I support his outsourcing plan

Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain announced that he would, if elected president, immediately begin to outsource the cabinet and their respective agencies.

Anyway, you will be pleased to note that McCain has said that the Housing department will be placed with an Indian call center. He feels that the Indians seem to know far better what is missing in the housing scene throughout America these days. Besides, they apparently also have the funds to manage the department and its problems, with their casinos bulging with cash. Besides, the natural skills of these people to manage and stay out of global conflicts is amazing, said the Senator from Arizona.

How can such a man be a clown

This ofcourse is apart from his natural ability to be one - now that’s another story!

It is also believed that John McCain has also decided to learn how to use the internet.

He is learning to get online and he hopes to do that soon, McCain told the New York Times in an interview. "I don't expect to be a great communicator, nor I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need."

In sharp contrast to McCain, Obama has 46,195 followers on “Twit-ter”. He apparently follows 48,040 Twitter accounts.

Amen

Monday, October 20, 2008

Work From Home - Freelancing And Blogging

In addition to monetizing your own blog with advertising spots, paid reviews, affiliate marketing, freelance jobs etc., there are many opportunities on the net for getting paid to blog and other freelance jobs.

The secret is to start using your content to get paid to blog.

If planned well, blogging can take your affiliate income through the roof.

Being Consistent

Many freelancers are inconsistent in marketing themselves and looking for new freelance jobs. This means that when you do market yourself and something comes in, you feel good because you have some income, you have some money, and you feel like your business is going well. But then you take your eye off the ball of marketing yourself and you just focus on delivering your service for your current projects.

Without keeping some consistent marketing in your routine, you're not filling the pipeline for new potential freelance job opportunities. Therefore, when you get a job, you feel great when you finish the job, and after which you have nothing. Result - you scramble desperately to find the next job.

By the time you start marketing again, it takes a while to get the engine back up and going, so it's a very inconsistent way to market yourself. The best way to remedy this deadly mistake that many freelancers make (especially most people who are new to the freelance business) is to set aside a certain amount of time each day to look for new freelance jobs and follow up with potential employers.

This could be a certain amount of time or it could be a certain number of jobs that you're going to apply to. Even if it's just one job a day or two jobs a day, that’s fine. All you need is to pick your rhythm, a success habit that you're going to do daily, every weekday for your business, and it doesn't have to take a lot of time. Set something as your daily goal and make it a success habit.

The key part of that habit is being consistent. It's where most freelancers fail and this is what takes most freelancers out of their business and puts them back into full-time jobs.

When you crack the code as a freelancer, you're going to love it as you're going to earn great money and you're going to have lots of freedom and responsibility to do what you want to do, when you want to do it.

Planning Ahead

Now, let us determine how much money you want to make and CAN make in the next 12 months. First, let us assume the salary you are seeking, say $30,000. Now, let's divide that number by 2,080 (based upon 40 hours per week over 1 year) and you will come up with $14.42 per hour (gross).

Every day, you would have to make over $105.00, and for every week you should set a target of $577.00.

Let us say you are unable to find a job for the first month, which means you have lost an estimate of $2,500, which eventually has to be added on to the yearly salary that you are seeking. So to play safe put in a two-month period [that the time tour search might take], which increases your annual salary target to $35,000, your hourly target to $16.80 or a daily target of $.134.40 [8 hours], or a weekly target of $.672.00 [40 hours]

Now make note of this;

 Your targeted annual salary [12 months] – should be set at $.35,000
 Your hourly rate that you plan to charge would have to be greater than $.16.80, let us say $.17.0
 Divide the figure in #1 by your answer in #2 to get the total number of hours you need to work in the next 12 months to reach your goal.
 Divide the answer in #3 by 2080 [based upon 40 hours per week over 1 year] to estimate the gain you would make and the time you would take to breakeven.
 Then think about how many hours you would have to be putting in, on a weekly basis, so as to figure out how many clients it’s going to take to reach your goal.

The result you get here is how many hours a week you have to work to reach that goal. The only advantage is that you can also work on holidays and get paid on it. This, of course depends on your social life.

If this number seems unreasonable, then you need to go back and reassess your goals. Maybe you need to increase your rates or you need to decrease your goals.

Whatever may be the case, I sincerely hope it works out for you.

If you crack the freelance code and start charging a lot more for your services, you can make it to your goal with far-less hours and fewer clients than you have in mind, and beat out most of the freelancers out there who work without a profitable strategy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hot, Flat, and Crowded - Can It Renew America

Alright, let’s get this straight

Who is Thomas Friedman and what do you know of him?

Well he is a New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning writer Friedman who has written a couple of books that include, The Lexus and the Olive Tree which came out in 1999 and introduced thousands to the notion of globalization. So, when the book, The World Is Flat came out nearly everybody was reading it. So his new book Hot, Flat, and Crowded may make it official, for many, that ecology-mindedness is the character of our times.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that I have NOT got down to reading Thomas Friedman’s new book…where he apparently suggests the industries and fields in which we should be investing. Now I have trouble with anyone telling me where people should be investing, but if the reviews in New York Times, Washington Post and the Salon are to be believed, I am fairly sure I will be buying the book.

"The shortest way I can explain it is that 'hot' stands for the increase in global warming, 'flat' is my metaphor for the rise of middle classes all over the world, from India to China to Brazil to Russia, who are now able to consume and produce like Americans, and 'crowded' is the fact that the population of the planet in my lifetime ...has almost tripled."

Friedman it appears offers a thought- provoking, accessible look at the impact of wealth transfer from energy consuming to energy producing nations, failed policies, environmentalism, conservation, greenness, and redefining a vision for America, that “MAY” leave the reader asking questions and demanding solutions. Although some of the ideas presented aren’t new, this book to me appears worth the reader’s time.

Alright so much for the books - but who is Thomas Friedman?

Thomas Lauren Friedman was born on 20th July, 1953. He is an American journalist, neo-liberal columnist and author. Tell me something new!

He apparently is also a contributor to The New York Times and whose column appears twice weekly and mainly addresses topics relating to foreign affairs. TLF [easier calling him that as Thomas Lauren Friedman is a mouthful] is known for supporting a compromise resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and ofcourse the modernization of the Arab world, then environmentalism and now globalization.

However, he has lost a lot of his supporters because of his vehement and open supporter of the invasion of Iraq. He later on became an outspoken critic of the war and the Bush administration which upset his credibility

To quote a few of the comments seen in the net don’t speak much about the publics view about him, thanks to his support of the war - “I used to worship Thomas Friedman until he vocally, vehemently pushed the War in Iraq in line with a social experiment, certain that it would promote democracy in the Middle East. I was so disappointed in his nearsightedness, especially because he had spent his career covering the region.

A couple hundred thousand dead Iraqis who died for a "elective" social experiment even more revolting than "collateral damage" inflicted by an incompetent, undermanned, casualty averse US Military trying to accomplish some vague, every shifting "mission." In short, what a raging, pompous, self-justifying, cowardly, intellectual asshole!”

So, I guess a lot of people still can't forgive him for advocating the Iraq war for mental health reasons, because he "felt it in his gut" that it was the right thing to do. Besides America had to strike out against SOMEbody after 9/11. It is just about the most irresponsible thing any columnist could ever perhaps say or write.

Okay, taking a few minutes to let our focus shift back to TLF - Thomas Friedman was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. He attended the St. Louis Park High School, where he wrote articles for his school's newspaper, where he also managed to interview Ariel Sharon, an Israeli general who later on went to become the Prime Minister of Israel. TLF graduated in 1971. He later on when to attend the St Antony's College at the University of Oxford on a Marshall scholarship, earning an M.Phil. in Middle Eastern studies.

And that is not all; this "green revolutionary" is married to the heiress to a shopping center fortune and lives in an 11,000 square foot house in Maryland, valued at over $10 million. Friedman's wife, Ann, a graduate of Stanford University is the daughter of Matthew Bucksbaum, the chairman of the board of General Growth Properties, a real estate development group. The Bucksbaums helped pioneer the development of shopping centers in the United States and as of 2007, Forbes estimated the Bucksbaum family's assets at $4.1 billion that included about 18.6 million square meters of mall space

Phew! TLF is surely set… Am waiting to see when he comes out with a Foundation, that supports his books views - will surely give back his LOST credibility

So let’s get back to TLFs new book - Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Friedman as always is in search of a new bandwagon to pump out yet another book. This wagon is already full, full of people who are seriously concerned about our planet earth but he would like to take the reins and drive this buggy to the gates of hell, or at least to where the cash is stashed away. There isn't a good cause that can't be milked.

Now he is writing about a Green Revolution. Even though Al Gore did not invent the internet, he sure is at the forefront of the Green Revolution. Why do we need Thomas Friedman's thinking on the subject? Is he trying to redeem himself?

Jimmy Carter was right about this issue during his administration. Al Gore has been right about this issue for years. John Kerry was right about this issue, and his call for an Apollo program for green energy, back in the 2004 campaign.

Personally, I believe the engine of this whole change is the market and all of the major investment banks have large positions in fossil fuels - in fact, Forbes recently claimed that if those banks were forced to liquidate their positions in fossil fuels, prices would drop to as low as $50-$75 a barrel - and that's what the current bailout is intended to avoid. Goldman Sachs also has huge holdings in fossil fuels, and the recent $5 billion Buffet injection should be viewed in the light of Buffet's extensive energy investments - PetroChina, ConocoPhillips, and Mid-American and Constellation Energy.

In other words, if only energy could be harnessed to take the place of oil . . . guess that is what TLF is trying to get across?

Or speaking as an Indian - The US can just get used to the Third World conditions - In other words the IMF proposes an austerity package for the U.S. as a precondition on a World Bank loan rescue package. Their first demand is that we privatize Social Security and halt all funding for public education. How is that for change?

That said, I used to work in a financial company that got influenced by the 'green committee' - trying to change the way we do business in an environmentally intelligent way. Infact the people involved who are mostly middle class people have basically no urgency or real understanding of what the hell is going on. They treat it like an irritating fad, and easily take 'no' as an answer when trying to change the way the company operates, or more so as they operate.

Unfortunately, most people still do not read or understand and to top it all do not care about science. Rationalism is apparently not their philosophy. In such a situation, how does one visualize environmentalism? Until they have intimate, personal experiences with global climate change - in other words they are scared, vis-à-vis Katrina, it is very unlikely they would do anything

Now, let me get to the bottom of this, I was supposed to keep this under a page and it appears that I have run into over 2 pages now.

As the apparent "God of Globalization," Friedman understands only too well how interconnected we have become. In other words, the pollution in India's Ganges River could have a direct impact on the quality of life in New York. Every coal factory that China builds, competes for resources with an Indonesian child. And to top it all, every time a woman in Southern California switched on her air conditioner, its effect travels to the Brazilian slums.

In short there is no way we can regulate our way out of this problem, but only innovate. This in turn requires legislation and rules.

But are we prepared for that ?

Bottom-line - He definitely is not the mystical seer, second only to that prophetic magician of the middle ages, the amazing Nostril-Dumb-ass.

Amen

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

SEO – What Is It And Why You Need It

Search Engine Optimization, SEO is not something new nowadays. Basically, if you want your online business to be successful, it's a good idea to optimize your site on a regular basis to make sure it's got a good position in the Web's top search engines.

Now, what in the world is this SEO?

Thankfully, most of us here, know what it is, but for those who came in late… SEO stands for search Engine Optimization.

So in other words SEO means if you trying to optimize your site for the search engines, you are basically optimizing your page for those keywords for which you want a high page ranking. Basically, in order to maintain your page-rank, you have to keep on top of what's happening in the rapidly changing search engine industry. The rules that affected your page rank yesterday may be meaningless tomorrow!

Search engines analyze title tags, image tags, link structure, directory structure, keyword density, prominence, and proximity, total words, total words in specific areas, alt tags, input tags, word repetitions, comment lines, domain name, directory name, filename, etc. The list is endless…..Moreover, to complicate things further, each engine has it's own unique way of ranking pages, so you need to create different pages to exactly match the criteria of each one.

So, do you have to use SEO?

The answer to why you have to use it is an easy one. You need Search Engine Optimization to be number one, or maybe at least make your site income generating.

For the past few years, search engines would be the most widely used internet tool to find the sites that they need to go to, or the product or information they need. Most people that use search engines use only the ten top search results in the first page. So you basically need to get it done right. In other words, you need an expert...

Now once again why do we need to pay for SEO, when we can do it ourselves?
When you get online, you would want people to visit your blog and for this you will need traffic and for that you need Search Engine Optimization. Now, although SEO is the hottest way to drive targeted traffic to your site, it costs aplenty, unless you are skilled in it. Likewise, maximizing the benefits of an optimized website will also yield lots of earnings for the marketer.

It is not that people cannot make money from the net; it is because people can’t get traffic to their site. This is mainly because one of the common mistakes in generating traffic which we all tend to make is the method of how we generate traffic. The biggest mistake here is that you are not focusing on generating traffic, but instead, you’ve tried almost every method out there that can supposedly increase the traffic to your site.

If we adopt a pattern, that is to say, the first day, you try and find more links for better SEO, then the next day, you try and generate traffic with article marketing and the following day you try obtaining with CPC advertising – then the chances of getting traffic are much better.



Basically, if you want your online business to be successful, it's a good idea to optimize your site on a regular basis to make sure it's got a good position in the web's top search engines. However, in order to maintain your page rank, you have to keep on top of what's happening in the rapidly changing search engine industry. The rules that affected your page rank yesterday may be useless tomorrow!

With the rapid growth of the Internet, it is no doubt why Search Engine Optimization has become one of the hottest topics within Internet marketing. The amount of daily search engine traffic is staggering, and for an individual who is thinking of marketing their products or services online, the Internet can be a virtually limitless gold mine of potential customers.

However, to reach these customers you will need to position yourself on those same search engines that so many people are using daily looking for your services or products. When queried, a search engine will reveal all of the sites that it has in its database about a particular subject or product. If your site happens to fall into the requested search category, this is called your site or page ranking [PR].

However, and as mentioned earlier, usually only the first few (top 10) ranked websites get to reap the sweet fruit of victory over their competition.

To make matters worse, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is not something new nowadays. In other words, the search engine industry is continually evolving. You need to know which of the major "players" is powering the smaller search engines if you want to know where you should focus your optimization efforts.

In order to achieve this, you need to create multiple streams of traffic for your site. Settling for one source of traffic is simply not enough for most small to mid-size sites, or home-based business sites. Considering the competition most people experience with search engines, not to mention the ever-increasing trend towards ‘pay for inclusion’ with the major search engines, it can be a real challenge to get decent traffic from search engines.

Google is still extremely powerful with Yahoo! a close runner-up and MSN still a distant but threatening third. It must be also noted that many of the smaller search engines plus some paid listings are still powered by Yahoo and Google

Before you can actually begin to start optimizing a site, you must understand how search engines and their robots work. This information will give you a head start on the process of building an optimized web site.

Almost daily, we meet web designers who do not truly understand the function of search engines. This usually results in poorly developed sites in regards to search engine placement that usually disappear. Sure, anyone can build a site with a little practice. However, knowing how search engines work and building a site that meets its ever changing ranking criteria and also achieves top ranking results for key search terms, is quite different.

There presently exist two types of major search engines, robot-indexed and human-indexed. It is important to understand the differences between the two because the way they index pages will dramatically affect your sites position within them. The main idea of web site optimization is about getting ranked on search engines. So, it has nothing to do with how fancy your web site looks or getting ranked in the last few pages. This is where the page rank plays an important part for which SEO is an important criterion.





Obviously it is important to have a practical and easy navigation system and favorable looks, so that you can maintain the visitors you receive form the search engines, but those all come to play after the page rank.

About 95% of the search engines on the Internet are self-indexing or spider / robot indexed. The other 5% are human indexed and are usually referred to as directories. At this point, the important point to learn is that human indexed search engines cannot be manipulated and optimized for, as freely as a spider index search engine can. The good news is that with the advancements in the robot indexed search engines and their algorithms, they are getting closer and closer to human indexed search engines.

Search engines will simply keep on producing traffic forever once your site has been indexed. The problem is getting a good placement (first page) on good keywords and gets lots of searches. This is not always easy, especially if you are in a competitive field. Even if you have a poor search engine placement, you will still get some traffic. Search engines frequently change the algorithms they use for page ranks and for ranking sites. They don't want unscrupulous site owners manipulating their indexing methods in order to get high rankings. By doing so, they damage the integrity of free search!

Regardless of how poorly the site has been optimized, the domain name (URL) will be indexed in most search engines and in almost every case; search engines will be able to return a web site address when asked. This means that if you were to go to a major search engine and type in your site name, you will probably see it right on top of that search engines results. Don’t be deceived by this type of search engine response as search engines categorize sites based on keywords, and visitors search for sites using keywords not the site URL.

Bottom line, most search engines will be able to return the correct URL address for any site if asked to, provided the site was indexed by them. This does not mean that the site is ranking well.

Once again, if someone searches for your domain name, it should pop right up on most search engines.

In fact, if this does not happen, that means your Internet presence has some fundamental deficiencies. To be successfully ranked on a search engine means your web site must achieve a favorable position over others based on a scale such as the keyword used for the search.

As mentioned earlier, the search engine industry is continually evolving and it is difficult to put the entire process into one article. It would take a couple of pages to go about each phase and for those interested in hard-core SEO, it is better to get hold of a book or a much more detailed article source.

Basically, just use the above to get a brief idea on how and where you should focus your efforts on Search Engine Optimization.